What is silver? You may have asked yourself this question at some stage or another, but might not have deemed it to be of much importance. Most people are content knowing that silver is a shiny metal and normally found in silverware such as cutlery, flatware, dishware, candlesticks and more.

Needless to say, it’s necessary to have a better understanding of what silver is. Knowing exactly what silver is and what it has to offer can make a huge difference at the end of the day, especially when fiat money (money with no intrinsic value) or non-redeemable paper notes lose all its value. Make no mistake; it can be the difference between a household that’s starving and one that has sufficient food, shelter and clothing for survival.

From a scientific point of view…

Silver is seen as a metallic chemical element with unique properties from a scientific point of view.

According to the Wikipedia: “Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag (Latin: argentum, from the Indo-European root *arg- for “white” or “shining”) and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal. The metal occurs naturally in its pure, free form (native silver), as an alloy with gold and other metals, and in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a by-product of copper, gold, lead, and zinc refining.”

From an economic point of view…

Silver is seen as a precious metal from an economic point of view.

According to Wikipedia: “A precious metal is a rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical element of high economic value, which is not radioactive (excluding natural polonium, radium, actinium and protactinium). Chemically, the precious metals are less reactive than most elements, have high lustre, are softer or more ductile, and have higher melting points than other metals. Historically, precious metals were important as currency, but are now regarded mainly as investment and industrial commodities. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium each have an ISO 4217 currency code.”

What is an ISO 4217 currency code?

International currency standard.

According to Wikipedia: “ISO 4217 is the international standard describing three-letter codes (also known as the currency code) to define the names of currencies established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The ISO 4217 code list is the established norm in banking and business all over the world for defining different currencies, and in many countries the codes for the more common currencies are so well known publicly, that exchange rates published in newspapers or posted in banks use only these to define the different currencies, instead of translated currency names or ambiguous currency symbols. ISO 4217 codes are used on airline tickets and international train tickets to remove any ambiguity about the price.”

What are the characteristics of silver?

Ductile, brilliant white, highest electrical and thermal conductivity of all metals, high optical reflectivity, low contact resistance, photosensitive, stable pure air and water, etc.

According to Wikipedia: “Silver is a very ductile and malleable (slightly harder than gold) monovalent coinage metal with a brilliant white metallic luster that can take a high degree of polish. It has the highest electrical conductivity of all metals, even higher than copper, but its greater cost and tendency to tarnish have prevented it from being widely used in place of copper for electrical purposes. Despite this, 13,540 tons were used in the electromagnets used for enriching uranium during World War II (mainly because of the wartime shortage of copper). Another notable exception is in high-end audio cables. Among metals, pure silver has the highest thermal conductivity (the non-metal diamond and superfluid helium II are higher) and one of the highest optical reflectivity (Aluminium slightly outdoes silver in parts of the visible spectrum, and silver is a poor reflector of ultraviolet light). Silver also has the lowest contact resistance of any metal. Silver halides are photosensitive and are remarkable for their ability to record a latent image that can later be developed chemically. Silver is stable in pure air and water, but tarnishes when it is exposed to air or water containing ozone or hydrogen sulfide to form a black layer of silver sulfide which can be cleaned off with dilute hydrochloric acid. The most common oxidation state of silver is +1 (for example, silver nitrate: AgNO3); in addition, +2 compounds (for example, silver (II) fluoride: AgF2) and the less common +3 compounds (for example, potassium tetrafluoroargentate: K[AgF4] ) are known.”

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